Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Little Theatre

Old Love
By Norm Foster
Ottawa Little Theatre
Directed by Venetia Lawless

For two friends in their 60s who just celebrated their third wedding anniversary and say that love in later life is especially rewarding, Old Love is a play to identify with and enjoy.

Probably one of the most charming of Canadian playwright Norm Foster’s 55 scripts, Old Love, while containing many of his signature one-liners, is more romance than comedy. First performed in 2008, Old Love traces an undeclared love that has lasted for 30 years, unspoken until he — now divorced — invites his former boss’s widow to dinner at the funeral reception.

From this awkward beginning, the two replay sporadic encounters at company events over the years, as their marriages decay in the background. Embittered by past experience, she is afraid to try love again or to risk being laughed at until….

The storyline is simple and the ending predictable, but this is of little consequence because the journey is so entertaining and comfortable. As presented by director Venetia Lawless and her cast, the Ottawa Little Theatre production of Old Love has just the right mix of heart and humour to enjoy on a summer evening.

As Bud, the man determined to turn a dream of romance into reality, Geoff Gruson appears completely at ease. Meanwhile, as Molly, the object of his affections, Dianna Renée Yorke is suitably spiky and reluctant to take a risk on the future. The two blend extremely well and are effectively supported by Susan Howard and Jarrod Chambers as their errant spouses and several other cameo roles.

Tom Pidgeon’s simple set, together with John Solman’s lighting and Bradford MacKinlay’s sound, provide the appropriate background.

Some audiences may also enjoy the videos of various couples telling their love stories. For my taste, this is overkill that lessens rather than enhances the otherwise very entertaining production.

Old Love continues at Ottawa little Theatre to June 24.

Director:  Venetia Lawless

Set: Tom Pidgeon

Lighting: John Solman

Sound: Bradford MacKinlay

Costumes: Glynis Ellens

Cast:

Bud Mitchell…………………………………….Geoff Gruson

Molly…………………………………………….Dianna Renée Yorke

Kitty et al………………………………………..Susan Howard

Arthur et al……………………………………….Jarrod Chambers